Thursday, January 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Flowers in the Attic

Throwback Thursday is a new feature at Reading Lark. We'll still be doing some Book Boyfriend posts and Book BFF posts on Thursdays as well, but the larks wanted a little variety on Thursdays. Throwback Thursday will allow us to celebrate some of the reads we loved way back when. . . 

Flowers in the Attic
By: V. C. Andrews
Release Date: 1979

When I ordered a used copy of Flowers in the Attic a few months ago in a fit of nostalgia (inspired by one of the many previews posted by friends on Facebook for the Lifetime movie airing on Saturday), I didn't expect to actually re-read it. Truthfully, I ordered it mostly to flip through and have a good laugh about what passed as "shocking" when I was in high school as to compared to what my students read now, but I am completely engrossed in re-reading it. And it's really good... (Believe me, I am as surprised as you are to hear that.)

The thing about Flowers in the Attic is that it's more than the story about kids in the attic, an evil grandmother, a heartless mother, or a brother and sister who fall in love (yes, it's "that incest story" as someone called it when I showed them what I was reading). It's a story about being captive in many ways and on many levels - and that's where I think it's appeal comes from, especially for teenagers. And as I re-read it I completely get why the 16 year old me was so enthralled with the story.

PS I also found an interesting interview with the editor who bought the book. It includes information about how the infamous and eye-catching (all that shiny, brightly colored foil!!) cover came to be, Andrews' first (and hugely unsuccessful) book signing, and she addresses the rumor that Flowers in the Attic was based on a true story (spoiler alert: it's true).

It wasn't that she didn't love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake--a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father.

So she and her mother hid her darlings away in an unused attic.

Just for a little while.

But the brutal days swelled into agonizing years. Now Cathy, Chris, and the twins wait in their cramped and helpless world, stirred by adult dreams, adult desires, served a meager sustenance by an angry, superstitious grandmother who knows that the Devil works in dark and devious ways. Sometimes he sends children to do his work--children who--one by one--must be destroyed....

'Way upstairs there are
four secrets hidden.
Blond, beautiful, innocent
struggling to stay alive....


  1. I've never read a V.C. Andres book...but the new movie coming out makes me want to find a copy and see what it's all about. The commercial give me chills and even though I know this book is a little dated I kind of want to see if it will do the same. I'm glad you enjoyed your re-read!

  2. I did not know it was based on real, interesting facts.
    I like this book, I've only read the first two, but I really liked

  3. One of the only books I read in my teen years! Good pick!


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